Quebec Tourtière - Canada


Every year around the Christmas period, Canadians will send the biggest and best looking Christmas tree, from Novia Scotia to Boston, as a thank you for their help during the Halifax explosion.

Quebec Tourtière is a rustic pie bursting with meaty flavours, all immersed in apple cider. The Tourtière is served as part of the Réveillon, a traditional French-Canadian festive feast. 

Prep time: 30 mins - 1 hour
Cook time: 2 hours
Serves: 6-8


1 large cabbage head, about 4 lbs
3 bay leaves
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp caraway seeds
225ml apple cider vinegar

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 lb minced pork
½ lb minced beef
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large egg
150g cooked and drained rice
1 tsp caraway seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp sweet or hot paprika

2 lbs drained sauerkraut
100ml tomato juice
½ lb smoked pork shank

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp lard
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp sweet or hot paprika
110ml sour cream, to serve


  • To make the pastry, begin by adding the flour, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. Combine with a wooden spoon. Add the lard and use an electric blender to combine with the flour until the mixture turns to a breadcrumb consistency.
  • In a separate container, beat the eggs and mix in the vinegar. Add water to make up 250ml of liquid.
  • Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and blend together with a fork until a clumpy dough is formed.
  • Using your hands, press the dough until it is smooth, and then cut into 4 pieces. Wrap each piece in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until cool. Remove from refrigerator and allow to warm up to room temperature.
  • To make the filling, begin by heating the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and pork and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the meat has browned.
  • Add in the stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Stir and then season to taste.
  • Bring to the boil and cook for around 15 minutes. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for around 1 hour. Keep checking the mixture and add a little water if it begins to dry out.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the parsley, thyme, sage, breadcrumbs and oats. Leave to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • On a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll out 1 of the pieces of dough to about ¼ inch thick. Line a 9 inch pie dish with the pastry, then spoon in half the meat mixture.
  • Roll out a second piece of dough, then after brushing the rim of the first piece of dough, roll the second piece over the pie dish and filling. Trim and press together the edges of the pastry.
  • Repeat step 10 for the other two pieces of dough, and then cut two slits on the top of each pie. Brush each of the pies with a mixture of egg and milk and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is piping hot.